Moths and light sources: What's the deal?

I have a twofold question. After sitting on my patio tonight, watching the moths bump against the outdoor lights, I began to wonder. I’ve wondered this many times before, but I decided to actually see if there are any facts on this:

  1. Why do moths fly repeatedly against a light source, and;

  2. If they are so attracted to light, on a moonlit night, why don’t you see any trying to fly towards the moon?

In any case, the bats around our place probably think that artificial lights are the best invention ever . :smiley:

The Master speaks:

Why are moths attracted to bright lights?
Why are moths attracted to bright lights?
Why are bugs attracted to light?

The best answer, really, is that at this point no one actually knows. Note that Cecil’s answer contradict’s Veg’s staff report. I asked an entomologist friend of mine about it a few months ago when he was attracting in moths at night with a light to photograph them, and he thought the best explanation was the moon-orientation one.

Here’s another answer from How Stuff Works

USA Today says that some moths use the moon for orientation, and others don’t:

Ask Yahoo cites USA Today, Cecil, and the BBC for various positions on the subject, but unfortunately the BBC link seems to have disappeared:
So take your pick.

And here’s another theory: